Over the next several weeks iPublish Media Solutions will share our 10 best tips for selecting the best technology partners for your business. This is the first in a series, based on lessons learned during more than a decade of media partnerships.
Question #1: What are your company’s core objectives? AKA: How to avoid “bright shiny object” syndrome
The easiest way to make a good decision about technology is to be absolutely clear on company objectives. This sounds simple and sometimes it is, but not always.
Here’s why having this conversation is so important: What matters most can let you decide which options to evaluate and which to set aside for next year.
Clear Goals and Strategy
Most media companies know what challenges they face, so articulating the need to solve them helps bring your technology review into focus. The best way to give yourself more time to research the most promising technologies, and to ensure all stakeholders are working together, is to have your goals and criteria written down and finalized before you start your search. Of course you can have more than one objective but even then, set a priority list and do the important ones first.
For some media companies, an unspoken standard is strictly revenue-based or to accomplish a consolidation goal. For example, objectives may look like:
“I want to centralize classified operations for different metros in a single call center resulting in savings of $X amount, and I have a budget of $X to accomplish this.”
“I want to win back more of my obits business, driving at least $X in revenue and booking at least 10 meetings with my most important funeral homes to share new technology and ideas.”
Don’t worry that you will be stuck with a set of criteria that is outdated as technology evolves. Criteria can evolve, too. Clarity simply allows top managers to apply simple tests for each new technology partnership opportunity – “does this opportunity support our core goals?”
The flip side of this question is “Is this technology I am looking at a distraction?” It may be (cool, interesting, cutting edge, fill in the blank), but if you cannot summarize the way the technology fits in with the core objectives, put it in the file for reevaluation next year. Let the vendor know an approximate time to follow-up, if appropriate, and keep your “in” box clear.
It’s More Than Just Software
Also remember: the software is just one element of a great tech selection. For example, you don’t need to license new real estate software because your real estate sales are slumping. You need new real estate software because you decided to focus on this category, budgeted/hired someone to sell real estate, examined potential ROI, set sales expectations, and have a strategy for pricing and selling. NOW it is time to evaluate new real estate software that will help accomplish those goals.
iPublish Media Solutions is in the business of providing technology and training that furthers your objectives. Let us know your goals and we can often match them with or customize platforms to automate tasks to speed sales and increase revenues. Many of our best self-serve solutions have come from client requests for technology that empowers more efficient automation and attractive marketing solutions.